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Four Favorite Southern Artists

Jul 25 2012

by Holly Phillips

I want to introduce The Southern C readers to four extremely talented southern artists. They are all from different areas of the south each with a style all their own. I bet you will fall in love with their work just as I have. I currently own pieces of the three of these talented women. I may just make it four. Enjoy!

Michelle Armas

Atlanta, Georgia

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What is your training?

Graduate degree in Graphic Design and Branding. I studied International Affairs in college.

What inspires you and your art?

Mostly photography. I am inspired by other amazing, productive ladies and my friends (one in the same most of the time). I love my life and I am always trying to grow and improve.

What is your favorite installation of your work or piece?

Anthology Painting by Michelle Armas in an interior by Chloe Warner of Redmond Aldrich Design

How has the south influenced your work?

The lifestyle here is slow and peaceful and friendly. I need a lot of rest, much more than I would get if I worked in an office or by some body’s schedule other than my own. Atlanta has a huge percentage of entrepreneurs, it seems like everyone I know is doing it on their own.

What is your favorite restaurant in the Atlanta area?

Float Away Cafe. Been going there for ten years, and it is always a slam dunk. Great cocktails, and get the flour-less chocolate cake.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Margarita, but only the way I make it, or a few select places like Leons in Decatur.

How do you balance young children and work?

It’s pretty easy for me since I don’t have kids.

Dream trip?

One week in Marrakesh buying up as many textiles and hand made things as I can, eating well and enjoying all the friendly people. Then rent a house on the cost, secluded…for another week. THEN (we are dreaming here) shoot over to Italy and island hop around Capri.

Dream commission?

Designer Miles Redd calls me up and says “Hello there young lady, I need a painting from you.”

Your favorite hostess gift?

A pretty vase that I have put away to give as a gift, filled with flowers from my garden. OR A damn good bottle of wine, but I would have to really know them and what wine they like.

Who is your style icon?

All those Brooklyn girls who wear flat sandals and floaty not too feminine dresses and look so chic. How do they do it? Also my friends have great style, and I learn a lot from them.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

Jessica Durrant

What is your most treasured possession?

A pair of rose gold bangles that belonged to my grandmother. She melted down all the random stuff she had and had four square-edged bangles made, I have two and my mom has the other two.

Armas_Sally_48x48_1600.jpg“Sally” by Michelle Armas, 48″ x 48″ Hanging in my family room.

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“Taurus” by Michelle Armas, 24″ x 24″

Selena Beaudry

Charlotte, North Carolina

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What is your training?

I received my BFA from Penn State and my MFA from Tyler School of Art.

What inspires you and your art?

I have been asked that question a lot. I always think it is a hard question because so many things inspire both my work and myself. The constants are – Sound, taste, smell, humor and art history,

What is your favorite installation of your work or piece?

I have been thinking a lot lately about a performance piece I did in grad school that I of course did not document. I turned my studio into an installation of colorful sculptures that hung from the ceiling. I sewed and filled them with all different kinds of gooey colorful foods and sugars that I then cut open while an actor friend of mine spun in a chair in the middle of the space. It was a color and sensory explosion. It was my idea of one of my paintings coming to life. My studio then smelled like a candy store for the rest of the year. The custodians hated me.

This is a favorite current installation of mine in Selena’s solo show…

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How has the south influenced your work?

That is another good question. I think living in the south has given me time and space to think. By living in a place that is not as fast as a northeastern city I think I have been able to begin to find my voice in my own time.

What is your favorite restaurant in the Charlotte area?

Since I am usually with my husband and three girls when I go out to dinner my favorite spot is an early dinner at Roosters.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Right now it is a Tequila gimlet from the book Art of the Bar.

How do you balance young children and work?

I’m not sure.

Dream trip?

It would be either to go to Japan for the Cherry Blossom festival or to Egypt to see the Pyramids.

Dream trip?

I would love to be able to do a large scale installation at DIA Beacon.

Your favorite hostess gift?

I am a bit of a procrastinator so I usually bring a bottle of wine or Champaign. If I could get it together I would copy my friend John Bossard and bring a Dior Lilly of the Valley candle that he gets in Paris, they smell divine.

Who is your style icon?

I’ve had to think about this one because there are so many talented smart stylish women that have inspired me. Lately I have been thinking about getting older and what I want to be like when I am old. I always love seeing photos of Louise Bourgeois in her studio or with her work.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

Either Sarah Sze or Ernesto Neto. I feel like they both create work that is like walking through a painting.

What is your most treasured possession?

A tie right now between my scissors and my paint brushes.

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Lots of Lines 60″ x 40″ — Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper 2008..My Selena work to be hung in my dining room.

Bawdy_Song.jpgBawdy Song by Selena Beaudry…a favorite of mine available through Hidell Brooks Gallery

Kate Long Stevenson

Charleston, South Carolina

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What is your training?

I’ve loved art all my life and always took classes growing up, then majored in painting at the University of the South (Sewanee).

What inspires you and your art?

personally: my son

artistically: music (the basis of each painting, so much so that some are literal interpretations and thus named for the composer), color, and Willem de Kooning.

“Vivaldi”

What is your favorite installation of your work or piece?

My first show was during my freshman year at Sewanee and was an installation of really large, minimalist portraits of the Romanov family. The pieces were on masonite and too heavy to mount, so they were suspended from chains. The effect was rather haunting.

How has the south influenced your work?

I don’t know if it’s the South or intrinsic Southernness, if anything. A friend observed that my paintings are really angry in application, but then often have these polite and feminine colors, which I suppose is Southern.

What is your favorite restaurant in Charleston?

Hands down, FIG. The menu changes nightly based on what’s local and in-season, and the food is always amazing.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Prosecco with a raspberry.

How do you balance young children and work?

Truthfully, I think it’s balancing the two that keeps ME balanced! It surprised me that having my son made me much more focused and productive in the studio with relatively very little time spent there. I’m lucky to be with him most days, but, as with anything that’s even slightly limited, both studio and mother-son time are more valuable to me.

Dream trip?

I studied abroad in Italy and am dying to go there again with my husband.

Dream commission?

Any time a client asks me to just paint what I love is pretty dreamy. It used to be an intimidating task, though now I find that I really let go of the reigns and produce better work.

“Three” by Kate Long Stevenson, 40″ x 60″

Your favorite hostess gift?

An orchid or small floral arrangement to tuck in anywhere is fabulous, and, though really basic, I love the flour sack kitchen towels at Williams Sonoma.

Who is your style icon?

Grace Kelly always looked fabulous and classic, and I’d happily raid the closets of Blake Lively and Olivia Palermo.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

He’s far more established than up-and-coming, but I think Josh Podoll‘s work is fantastic.

What is your most treasured possession?

Photographs of my son, my wedding and engagement rings, a necklace that belonged to my best friend, Neil…

womanorange_pink_500x500.jpgWoman in Orange and Pink by Kate Long Stevenson…a favorite of mine

Amanda Talley

New Orleans, Louisiana

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What is your training?

I grew up working in oil and painting from the still life under painter Libby Crespo. I later received a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Painting from Mary Baldwin College and a MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design

What inspires you and your art?
Anything and everything. Personal experiences drive most of the compositions but fashion and design can be the basis for much inspiration.
What is your favorite installation of your work or piece?
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Sally Wheat‘s living room in Texas
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My living room with my Amanda Talley (She requested I show this)
How has the south influenced your work?
People are wonderfully crazy here-anything goes-especially in New Orleans. I could dress up in a wig and full costume, walk into the coffee shop and no one would look twice. That makes for a very free environment for being creative.
What is your favorite restaurant in New Orleans?
Currently, I’m loving the hamburger at Sylvain
What is your favorite cocktail?
I always maintain an intense love for Margaritas.
How do you balance personal life and work?
Balance? They are so intertwined that I don’t know the difference between the two any longer. Living and working in the same location may contribute to that!
Dream trip?
I’m dying to go on a month-long trip to Spain
Dream commission?
Ha! That would be where a client said “You’re the artist, you know best, just do whatever you feel.” and mean it!
Your favorite hostess gift?
I make homemade ice cream (with kefir or rice milk and honey) everyday so that’s been a great thing to give –the peach ice cream is especially spectacular right now.
Who is your style icon?
I love Charlize Theron, she always seems to get it right.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Hannah O’Brien is a a recent graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and she is doing some really great work on felt paper.
What is your most treasured possession?
Well, it was my grandmother’s diamond earrings but one went missing out my ear two weeks ago so I’m sort of hating myself right now.
“Punch” Painting by Amanda Talley, 36″ x 48″
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know these artists. Please take the time to check out more of their work from their websites and the galleries who represent them.

2 COMMENTS

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2 responses on “Four Favorite Southern Artists

  1. hollyphillipstheenglishroom Post author

    Thanks for sharing your favorite. Always looking for new artists work. I will check it out.

  2. carolynshultz

    Thank you for sharing! I have always loved Kate Long Stevenson’s work as well as Michelle Armas, they inspire me!

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